Praise and Critique for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

By Ainsley Wang, Natalie Cooper, David Luo, and Ezra Lee

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the second installment in Marvel’s Black Panther movie franchise. Shadowed by the untimely death of Chadwick Boseman, this sequel focuses on Princess Shuri, who must now contend with a hot new villain. In this movie review, we will lay out two of the most compelling factors that we noticed – one we will praise, and the other, we will critique. There were many standout moments in this film, and we highly recommend that you watch it!

Praise: Representation

In the wake of King T’Challa’s death, the women of Wakanda step forward. Side characters in the first movie–Princess Shuri, Queen Ramonda, and Dora Milaje members Okoye and Aneka–are thrust into the spotlight, each forced to grapple with themes of grief, forgiveness, and duty. Recognizing the importance of the representation of strong, smart, black female characters in media, SISTERS, Winsor’s black affinity group, organized a trip to see the film together. Gwen Castro ‘24, one of the heads of SISTERS, said, “Being a young black woman, seeing powerful and confident role models that look like me to be successful shows that the sky is truly the limit and that your ‘status’ in this country doesn’t have to determine what you can become.” Not only does Wakanda Forever build upon the pride and celebration of black culture established by the first Black Panther film, but the movie also takes it a step further by emphasizing the empowerment of black women.

Critique: Plot Holes and Loose Ends

The movie Wakanda Forever was overall a decent movie because of the great actors, but it fell short in terms of the storytelling and plot points. Unfortunately, the plot of the movie was very jumpy, leaving the viewer entertained but unable to come away with much more from the experience. The movie did a great job of showing both the sci-fi futuristic idea of Wakanda while still using real news broadcasters such as Anderson Cooper to report on events. However, one of the biggest and most relevant details that we feel was left out was the death of Chadwick Boseman which was addressed only for a few minutes in the end. Furthermore, we felt as if major plot points were not fleshed out enough even though the movie was two hours and 41 minutes long. The movie in our opinion also failed to flesh out the new character Riri Williams. Riri was introduced in the movie but was given little screen time for what could have been an interesting character in the movie. However, the ending of the film was definitely a highlight with its cliffhangers and ability to leave viewers wanting more.